Napoli out, Carp in for Sox on Wednesday night

Napoli out, Carp in for Sox on Wednesday night
July 3, 2013, 5:30 pm
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BOSTON -- Mike Napoli is not in the Red Sox lineup Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres. The Red Sox first baseman is replaced by left-handed hitting Mike Carp, who will hit sixth against right-hander Edinson Volquez.

John Farrell is giving Napoli the night off in order to get an extra left-hander in the lineup, knowing that Napoli will be back in on Thursday afternoon against left-hander Eric Stults.

"With tomorrow being a day game, we'll try to get some guys off their feet in advance, for tomorrow," said the Red Sox manager before Wednesday night's game. "It's as much of a matchup against Volquez as well. We were trying to get another one or two left-handed bats in the lineup tonight. So that's where we are tonight."

Plus, it's not as if Carp is someone who has let the team down when Napoli gets nights off.

"Well of late, we've had a hard time getting [Carp] on the field, but when he's been in the lineup, he's given us a potent left-handed bat, capable of extra-base hits," said Farrell. "Defensively, he's done a good job at first base as well. he was slowed a little bit by the hamstring, but that all seems to be resolved completely at this point. So, he's done a very good job."

"And, given where we are today, he's one of the guys that have come off the bench and allowed us to not really skip a beat."

Napoli's recent struggles at the plate might also have something to do with it. But one message Farrell had was that those struggles aren't because of injury. Instead, it has more to do with the current length of his swing, and his earlier commitment to go get a fastball.

"We can't pinpoint anything physically," said Farrell. "Given what he's come through in the offseason [with his hip], people might naturally think there's something going on there, which there isn't."

Napoli returns to the lineup on Thursday afternoon. If he continues to struggle, Farrell said he's leaving the door open to dropping Napoli down in the batting order.

"And without talking to Mike yet about that, there's been some thought there," said Farrell. "There's definitely been some thought."